Jurgen Klopp is choosing to take a less than ruthless approach with Mamadou Sakho, rightly or wrongly.
The centre-back hasn’t played since April; first because of an incorrect drugs ban followed by an injury; then due to a series of disciplinary issues which caused him to fall down the manager’s pecking order, culminating in a Snapchat message on Friday night which accused his boss of telling lies.
But the Frenchman played for the Under-23s last night when most fans assumed his Anfield career was done and Klopp seems to have given Sakho one more chance, judging by these comments from today’s press-conference, cited in the Echo.
“That’s not a rule for Mamadou Sakho. It’s a rule for every player,” said the boss when asked whether Sakho’s attitude was holding him back.
“Work hard. Work hard and do your best. I spoke to Mama and from my side everything is done and now we can carry on.”
For now though, Sakho’s hard work will continue in the Under-23s and at Melwood, as he’s behind the likes of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and Lucas in the race for starting centre-back spots.
Sakho’s a 26-year-old French international and one of the highest paid players at the club, so it’s clear this cannot go on forever. If the defender manages to prove himself he’ll need to avoid any backlash of any kind on social media or in the press and wait patiently for an opportunity.
Without European football, we’re struggling to see where or when it might come.